There are two cataclysmic events that can happen in the SEO world and both happened last week. One was the encryption of keyword referral data from organic traffic to Google Analytics. The second was the introduction of the Hummingbird update, which makes the search engine more capable than ever of handling complex queries, specifically long tail keywords. It seems that google wants to speak “your language” instead of forcing you “to speak his”. Basically Hummingbird will look at the User Intent vs. Actual Keyword Phrase Used.
For those of you who possesses an iPhone, specifically one with SIRI on it will understand where google is trying to go with this. When you launch Siri you can say: “Siri can you remind me of something tomorrow at 9am” or “Siri i need to be reminded of something” or “Siri, i need to be reminded of something”
Meaning that you don’t actually need to give a SPECIFIC STRING ORDER. Siri will do “her” best to try and understand what you mean. Google is trying to do the same thing with it’s search engine.
Google introduced earlier this year the ‘conversational search’, letting users the ability to search Google by asking it a question rather than typing it.
How google sees it is: “If they consistently served up bad or irrelevant results than you are going to go elsewhere”, somewhere like Bing for instance. This will make their adwords model suffer.
If I search “how do I clean a silver necklace?”, Google returns a set of results that understands that I’m looking for. 5 years ago, the trigger work would have been”silver necklace” but now Hummingbird is taking into account “How do I” and “clean”.
Is SEO dying? Nope, but it did just get a lot more complicated. Keyword rankings as a metric may be devalued but search engine optimisation, as a discipline, is needed now more than ever. Marketers will need to work harder to understand what it is going to take to get their content visible.
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